When was the last time you thought about your dryer vent? (Pause for dramatic effect). I can once again hear the collective shout of not very often, if at all. Let’s see if I can get your attention, according to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) in 2010 approximately 17,000 home fires in the US were started due to improper maintenance of the dryer vent. Those fires accounted for 51 deaths, 380 injuries and $236 million in property damage. Do I have your attention now? I cannot stress enough the importance of cleaning your dryer vent annually.
Does your dryer seem to be running hot and taking longer to dry the clothes? This is a huge sign that you may need to have your dryer vent professionally cleaned. There are several different types of material than can be used to run a dryer vent. The three predominant types of material we find are ridged flexible plastic tubing, ridged flexible metal piping, and smooth metal rigid pipe. If you have the flexible plastic tubing I would strongly suggest just replacing it rather than trying to have it cleaned. I not sure who thought plastic and heat were a good combination, probably a builder who was looking for the most inexpensive way to vent the dryer. The flexible metal tubing is better, however again the ridges in the tube are the perfect place for lint to catch and build up. The far best solution for dryer vents will be the smooth metal piping, no ridges for the lint to catch on, and it allows for the best airflow so your dryer will perform at its best.
The Next thing we want to inspect is that the vent is properly vented out of the house. This is especially true if the vent goes up into the attic and out the roof. I cannot tell you the number of times I have found lint covered attics due to the dryer vent being not properly connected, if it is connected at all. That much lint in an attic presents a greater danger in a home fire for the whole house to go up in flames faster due to the extremely combustible nature of dryer lint. Again I am not playing fear monger here, I just want to help you realize how important this issue is.
The last thing we need to look at on the dryer vent is to see if it is run properly. Vents that are too long, have too many twists, turns, or elbows can also present an issue. Twists, turns and elbows are also places that allow lint to build up in the vents. If the vent is too long it can also present an airflow issue, reducing the efficiency of your clothes dryer. As always, Art Plumbing, AC & Electric can help. Call us today at 1-800-475-1504 or visit www.artplumbingandac.com to schedule an evaluation of the dryer vent in your home to make sure its safe and performing at its best.
House Whisperer out!!
For Immediate Emergency Assistance Call 1-800-475-1504